I am regularly asked why Andrea Mitchell still has a job at NBC. The complaint is: “She’s so biased against Hillary Clinton, she may as well be campaigning against her. It’s all sneer, smear and innuendo.” True. But the medium is the message. TV networks pay many millions of dollars per year to pundits, dressing them in tony outfits to sit behind imposing desks in an effort to convince that their opinion has more value than yours. Why does Andrea Mitchell still have a job? Because NBC likes the rubbish she’s pushing. Look at Matt Lauer, who just shamed himself with his sexist, rude, interrupting treatment of Secretary Clinton at NBC’s recent CiC Forum. What was the reason for his conduct?
Follow the money.
Ms. Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Lauer and their media brothers and sisters are following the money (and orders) given them by their corporate masters. If network owners didn’t want to cynically focus on the nothingburger click-bait of Hillary’s emails 24/7/365, if they didn’t want to daily, and bizarrely, bash the A-rated Clinton Foundation, an organization that has saved millions of lives, they would stop. Nothing is accidental here.
Local media, on the other hand, has been far better, actually discussing Clinton’s policies. But they get a lot less play.
Alex Castellanos is a commentator on CNN. In 2008, he referred to then-Senator Clinton as a “white bitch.” Last week, on NBC’s Meet the Press, Castellanos ignored her qualifications and referred to her as “Nana Clinton” – framing her as a drab grandmother who’s candidacy excites no one. Clinton has been voted America’s most admired woman a staggering 20 times. In both the 2008 and 2016 primaries, she won more votes than anyone. Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, two-term Senator and popular Secretary of State did this despite constant media bashing and the most misogynistic, disrespectful coverage on record. Clearly, someone is excited to vote for her despite efforts to kneecap her.
Further, Castellanos made the vile comment that there is an “otherness” to President Obama by way of excusing Donald Trump’s vile 5-year “birther” conspiracy. Is anyone naïve enough to believe network bookers put operatives like Castellanos on the air only to be blindsided by their rhetoric?
The New York Times has been a notorious culprit this election cycle, all but ruining their reputation with false or at the least, faulty, stories on Hillary Clinton. My letter to the NYT Public Editor lays out their many sins. Even decent features have a negative taint much of the time. Read NYT reporters Maggie Haberman, Amy Chozick or Patrick Healy. What do they have in common? The same set of negative frames and narratives sprinkled throughout the paragraphs of every article they write about her, whether the “adjectives” used to describe her have anything to do with the particular topic being covered or not. Why?
To keep the brainwashing going.
If I write the word “untrustworthy” about someone in every article over a period of years, whether or not it’s true, after seeing it enough times, that word becomes an automatic association with that subject. (Pulitzer prize winning Politifact has deemed Hillary Clinton to be the most honest of any candidate in either party this entire election cycle.)
Networks and major print publications can hire anyone they want. Ms. Haberman offered up the same subtle negativity about Clinton when she worked for Politico, so when she got hired by The New York Times to cover Clinton in the 2016 election, don’t you think they knew what they were getting – and wanted it that way?
A 2016 Harvard study has proven that Hillary Clinton has gotten more negative coverage by far than any candidate of either party. Is it an accident that she also happens to be the most qualified, accomplished candidate with a strong progressive platform? It’s gotten so bad that NYT columnist, the Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, wrote an article bashing his own paper.
So why are they thrashing her, especially if there is supposedly a liberal bias in the media?
Follow the money.
Hillary Clinton is often derided as being the “tool of corporations.” If that were true, then the corporate-owned media would not work so hard to defeat her.
As noted previously, she has been smeared by Republicans for 25 years (with much of the press corps acting as eager stenographers). She’s been dragged before countless committees with millions of dollars spent in the effort. No wrongdoing was ever found. So either she’s very smart, they’re very stupid or this is political hogwash/click-bait to obstruct a woman working to get something done on behalf of the American people.
Republicans were trying to kill Hillary’s candidacy with the Benghazi “scandal” all last year, which corporate media feverishly reported, complete with lots of damning headlines. Several Republicans in Congress were inane enough to admit on national television that their goal was to drive down her poll numbers. But when Hillary once again testified last October — for 11 grueling hours — she so shamed the entire committee with her reasoned, thorough answers, poise and grit, that you never hear about it anymore. Another faux “scandal” bites the dust. Didn’t make the professional corporate media-bashers offer her an apology though, did it?
Harvard professor Thomas E. Patterson penned an op-ed in the LA Times elucidated the media’s damning behavior:
“My analysis of media coverage in the four weeks surrounding both parties’ national conventions found that her use of a private email server while secretary of State and other alleged scandal references accounted for 11% of Clinton’s news coverage in the top five television networks and six major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. Excluding neutral reports, 91% of the email-related news reports were negative in tone. Then, there were the references to her character and personal life, which accounted for 4% of the coverage; that was 92% negative.
While Trump declared open warfare on the mainstream media — and of late they have cautiously responded in kind — it has been Clinton who has suffered substantially more negative news coverage throughout nearly the whole campaign.
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Few presidential candidates have been more fully prepared to assume the duties of the presidency than is Clinton. Yet, her many accomplishments as first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of State barely surfaced in the news coverage of her candidacy at any point in the campaign. She may as well as have spent those years baking cookies.
How about her foreign, defense, social or economic policies? Don’t bother looking. Not a single one of Clinton’s policy proposals accounted for even 1% of her convention-period coverage; collectively, her policy stands accounted for a mere 4% of it. But she might be thankful for that: News reports about her stances were 71% negative to 29% positive in tone. Trump was quoted more often about her policies than she was. Trump’s claim that Clinton “created ISIS,” for example, got more news attention than her announcement of how she would handle Islamic State.
Trump was quoted more often about [Hillary Clinton’s] policies than she was.”
Media coverage has done a disservice not only to Clinton but to the American people, and to women in particular, who once again witness that a woman seeking power must hold up the banner for all womanhood while her male counterpart is humored and excused, his sins papered over.
Shame on them all.
— Anita Finlay (@AnitaFinlay) September 21, 2016
That stated, complaining isn’t going to fix it.
Social media continues to be a counterbalance to get the truth out there, but do not for one second assume most people know Hillary Clinton’s work on behalf of education, kids with disabilities, SCHIP, fighting discrimination, helping the poor, empowering women, veterans’ care, the national guard, health care for 1st responders after 9/11, and diplomacy over 40+ years, or that they know her current platform.
Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer aren’t telling the American people that. They’re sticking with click bait.
What’s the solution? Write the advertisers? Boycott? Probably better to share her policies and accomplishments with your friends. As President Obama said, “carry her as you carried me.” If you want to see her elected in November, spread the good word about her and her policy proposals. And of course, get out the vote!
That will render Andrea Mitchell and her coterie of “bashers” unnecessary.